Hey, it's Monday already!
Well this week has been a blur. On Monday during studies one of the assistants called and asked if I would come down and practice for a musical number we'd be having for the mission conference that Thursday. One of the sisters and I drove down to Modesto to practice an arrangement with two other elders Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. It's our president's favorite hymn and the arrangement was beautiful. Fun to be a part of the quartet and sing a little acapella as well! :)
Then on Tuesday we went down to Modesto again for a mission leadership council, went straight back to the zone to discuss the things that we had talked about and then went straight back down to Modesto for another appointment that afternoon.
On Wednesday some of the sisters in the trio weren't feeling very well so sister amos and i went up to their area so that she could stay with them (she's also not been feeling the best these past few months) while I worked with Sister Pisa. Their district leader has called a few times concerned about the trio so it was good to have that time with her and talk about a few things and give her some time to vent (oh how we sisters need to vent sometimes...). That night we went to young women/men and were able to talk with Victor. That kid is solid! He told us about the scripture reading he's been doing in the book of mormon and asked us to get him a triple combination! There was a youth fireside on Saturday so we set a time to meet with him before.
Thursday was the misison conference with Elder Hamula and we all had such a great time. He's a pretty bold guy, just lays down the law and says it like it is. Talked with us about how the Lord desires our hearts and how we can change it which led us into a discussion of grace and how through the Lord's grace and atonement we can change and live up to the potential that we all have. After lunch we all came back and discussed the work and how we can be improving as missionaries to find, teach, baptize more. If you know me, you know that really stresses me out but it was motivating to be reminded that while we're all good missionaries we can still improve and that the work is hastening with people that are ready and prepared for the gospel. Our mission president had told us at the meeting we had on Tuesday that Elder Hamula would be selecting about 10 missionaries to talk with after the meeting to interview them and hear their thoughts on the meetings. During lunch, president came up to me and told me that I'd be one of the missionaries to talk with Elder Hamula...no big deal...just interviewing with a general authority...but it went well! Nicest guy! It was fun talking with him and telling him I was from the DC area where he served as mission president. He told me that we'd be having another mission leadership council the next day to discuss more about the work and the changes that were necessary to make. So the next day we went to Modest again (so that's FIVE trips in one week to the office) where he was pretty bold telling us we needed to put behind us these challenges and "mission drama" behind us. To stop being so focused on who we are (fresno vs sacramento missionaries) and focus more on who we represent and his work and what really matters. Hopefully with him saying that, we really can put all of these petty issues behind us and move on; we both came from great missions but that really doesn't matter anymore.
He spent some time emphasizing how we should be working with the members and in our ward council to seek out those in the ward that still need to receive saving ordinances (taking the sacrament, endowment, sealing etc). So after the meeting on Friday, during our planning sister amos and i went through our area book and made three separate lists: one for perspective elders, less actives and part member families. When we saw how large each of the lists were it was a little overwhelming to see all of those names; but gave us renewed hope that there is still a LOT of work that needs to be done in the ward. We took this to our ward mission leader and ward council who are all on board to help. So the first step is to go through all of these names and find either their visiting/home teacher or someone from the ward that they know who can introduce us or better go over with us to their home so that it isn't the typical routine of just us going to their door "hi...we're the missionaries in the ward..." which they've probably heard a million times before. We know that there will still be members and families that just really aren't interested right now but we've got the faith there are bound to be a few people that will benefit from this. So we're excited that this gives us something to work with. The young men's president feels really strongly that we need to be having more members going out with us, so we're going to try to have a sister and brother if possible take us out once or twice a week.
On Saturday we were supposed to have a lesson with Victor before a youth fireside but he was running late so we ended up waiting until after church. While we were waiting we were with his friend Melissa and she told us that while they've been talking and discussing some of the scriptures she brought up the law of chastity and homosexuality since we haven't been able to finish that up with him yet. I guess while they were talking he told her that his "tendencies" aren't the way that they used to be...so I guess the law of chastity won't be as much of an issue as we thought. The lesson on Sunday went really well, and instead of the 19th he's praying about the 12th- his birthday! Please continue to keep him in your prayers that he'll receive an answer that the 12th is the day he should be baptized. We're really excited for him and he's doing so well. It's been great to watch him get so involved with the youth, I almost feel like his parent that he doesn't want anyone to see him with because he's always with the other young men and women haha. So we're excited to see how this goes.
Anyway, sorry for the rambling. Crazy how fast the weeks are going, can't believe tomorrow marks the first day of September! Bring on the cooler weather and the rain because i'm over this California heat! :) Hope everyone has a great week!
Love to you all,